Recognize This! – Appreciation is a more effective productivity booster than fear.
Are you working harder because you’re scared for your job? Or could
you potentially be even more productivity if someone simply told you
“thanks” for what you do?
Looking across several research reports and economic indicators, the story is quite interesting. Bloomberg Businessweek tells us:
“Here’s a depressing thought: America’s productivity
is rising on the backs of scared office workers. That’s essentially the
explanation offered by Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan
(JPM), for the 1.6 percent second-quarter gain reported Aug. 8 by the Labor Department.”
China Gorman put it another way when discussing the results from PwC Saratoga’s US Human Capital Report:
“The revenue per FTE (full-time equivalent)
has been declining steadily since 2008 – by 18% — and has only
marginally improved over 2006 levels. During the same time period, labor
cost per FTE has grown nearly 14%:
“The bottom line is that while the all-in cost of labor is going up,
the revenue produced by that labor is decreasing, thus the diminishing
ROI of human capital in the U.S.”
Are these results contradictory? I don’t think so. I do think
individual productivity of scared employees is going up, at least
marginally, as is somewhat normal during and after a recession. Those
employees still holding onto their jobs are often also doing the work of
those let go.
The big question is: How long is this sustainable? People can operate
out of a place of fear for only so long. But industry of all stripes
has become accustomed to this increased level of productivity. What is
to be done?
Tap into Employee Willingness to Work Harder if Efforts Are Recognized
More than three quarters of employees (78%) say would work harder if efforts were better recognized and appreciated.
Translate that into “engagement speak,” and that means the vast
majority of employees admit they have more discretionary effort to give
if someone would simply acknowledge their efforts and tell them “thank
you” for what they do.
Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer’s seminal research on this, published in The Progress Principle,
proved this as well, showing the number one motivator of employees is
making progress in their daily work. More frequent, timely specific
recognition for employees when they do make progress in efforts to achieve BHAGs, is critical to motivating employees and getting them to give more discretionary effort.
16 Aug 2012 4:35 PM
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